Summer Solstice will always be one of my favorite days of the year. On the off chance we’re not friends yet, I love the sun, the desert heat, and the dog days of summer. And growing up with earth conscious hipppy parents, I was celebrating the summer solstice long before I had any true understanding of its power.
So, what exactly is the summer solstice?
Put simply, it’s the longest day of the year, that is, if you’re living in the northern hemisphere. Typically, on June 21st each year (the day can shift slightly depending), the sun travels along its most northern path in the sky, giving us hours and hours of sunlight to play in. In addition, the solstice has also come to mark the first official day of summer. Here the days grow longer, nights grow warmer, and the skies seem to open for endless stargazing opportunities.
Now here’s where it gets really fun. As a kid, I spent most of my summers camping with family & friends in Mount Charleston, a popular forested camping destination for Las Vegas. I remember many summers, where my family and I would camp next to a Wiccan Cult. Uh-hu, you read that right. And on the Summer Solstice they would sing and dance around a bonfire all night under the moon. Yep, this is my childhood friends – pretty rad right? Well in Wicca tradition the days surrounding the solstice are called Litha, and are a time for celebrating and connecting with mother earth.
That’s right, it’s time to get witchy
In Pagan and Wiccan tradition there are eight celebrated holidays with 4 Great Sabbats, or quarter holidays: the two solstices (summer & winter) and the two equinoxes (spring & fall). Therefore summer solstice rituals are practiced during Midsummer or Litha from June 19th – June 23rd where Pagans give thanks for all the Earth provides and Wiccans believe the divine is at its greatest power.
Ready to celebrate yet?
If you’re still reading than you’re probably curious about how this holiday is traditionally celebrated beyond dancing around bonfires under the moonlight – although if you have the opportunity, seize it babe. And truthfully I love the traditional practices. In one of my favorite midsummer celebrations a bonfire is lit, and people jump over it, holding a wish for the summer in their minds. But I’m also happy to tell you, there is no wrong way to celebrate your summer solstice ritual! If you haven’t celebrated before, this is a great year to start your ritual celebration and remember you can always add on or adjust as you continue to celebrate through the years! Below is a list of our favorite ways of harnessing the sunlight.
- Watch the sun both rise and set
- Yoga – try any practice that makes you feel grounded, or try 108 sun salutations
- Get your hands dirty, connect with mother earth and plant something, whether its seeds or a whole plant
- Update your crystal grids
- Make sun tea
- Add flowers to your home – try to stick with the wild kind
- Make a flower crown
- Make honey cake – try this recipe
- Get out in nature – whether it’s a walk in your neighborhood or a jaunt in the woods, get outside!
- Connect with the four elements
- Do your solstice tarot spread – we like this one
- Make your own suncatcher
- Diffuse citrus oils and wear citrus
- Journal on gratitude
- Cast spells – be careful!
- Build a bonfire
- Watch the moon rise and dance under it
Above all, get outside, harness the energy and power of the sun – now is the time to remind yourself of the growth potential, and strength available in nature and yourself.